I wondered how long I’d be doing this project before the first win came along, and it’s here! The fourth game of the league season for FC Metz, and they grab a win that puts them just outside the relegation zone. The news was less good elsewhere…
Premier League: Fulham (evens to go down) 3-4 vs Leeds away
I have to take a brief aside here to say that I am, in actuality, an Aston Villa fan, and that there are now five teams in the Premier League with two losses from two, and with Villa winning their first game, I’m feeling quite positive about this season. But anyhow, that’s obvious besides the point of this blog.
I don’t think Fulham got used to the Premier League yet, which I guess is fair enough after two games. Leeds, on the other hand, look like they belong here, even if their defending is – surprisingly after they defended so well last season – less than impressive.
Still, Fulham were out of this one before they briefly looked like they might be back in it, with Helder Costa scoring an absolute cracker off the crossbar to put Leeds ahead early on, before two of those really ridiculous penalties that seem to be a thing at the moment (they were both penalties, just stupid ones).
Leeds currently look like they could win – or lose – to just about anyone, while Fulham, to give them credit, have started to look a little bit dynamic going forward at times, though perhaps not enough to worry the bigger clubs. I think they’re still sub par. Which is a dangerous thing to say, because guess who they’re playing next…
FC Metz (1/6 on to go down), 0-1 away to PSG and 2-1 at home to Reims
I once again find myself questioning the bookies verdict on Metz, who went down narrowly to struggling (but nevertheless nailed-on league champions) PSG, and then pulled their first win of the season out – and their first league goals – by turning over Reims at home.
In truth, PSG absolutely peppered the Metz goal in the first game, and while PSG were down to ten men for the closing half an hour, it would have been a bit of a footballing injustice of Metz had got away with it.
PSG were a severely weakened team with no edge to them, and yet unsurprisingly, with the likes of Icardi, Di Maria and Draxler still gracing a weakened side, they eventually found a breakthrough in the 93rd minute to win a game they should have won far more comfortably.
Reims are the kind of team Metz will need to beat if they’re to overcome the odds, though, and they started poorly, only for the Reims goalkeeper to make a total hash of Senegalese forward Ibrahima Niane’s header, straight at him from a freekick, gifting Metz their first goal of the season.
Reims leveled through a penalty, before getting a red card for a pull back against Niane, who then won the game with two minutes left, flicking in a cross with some real killer instinct. Metz are out of the drop zone, and perhaps Niane is the danger man they need.
Bundesliga: Arminia Bielefeld (5/6 on to be relegated)1-1 away to Eintracht Frankfurt
It’s a happy coincidence for me that Arminia Bielefeld are the team I’ve landed on in Germany. I had a German teacher many years ago who claimed – perhaps dubiously – to have played for them, not that anybody in the class had heard of them at the time.
They were totally dominated in this game, but away points when you’re newly promoted are vital, and they even led through a breakaway goal. A decent looking counterattacking team that are likely to be overrun in a league where Bayern and Dortmund in particular are already looking extremely dangerous (an 8-0 opening day win against Schalke for Bayern was something else…), but for now they’re mid table.
Serie A: Spezia (1/4 on to go down)
Spezia are yet to make their debut in Serie A after their dramatic promotion, they open against another of the league’s minnows, the surprisingly successful Sassuolo, on Sunday. I won’t be reading too much into the 5-0 win they grabbed against a Serie C team in a friendly over the weekend.
La Liga: Elche (8/15 to go down)
Elche played Barcleona in the Joan Gamper trophy, a kind of formalised annual friendly, over the weekend, and while they conceded in the 2nd minute to Antoine Greizman goal, they hung on from then on to lose only 1-0 (it should have been more, but Barcelona are a bit of a mess at the moment).
They’re yet to play in the league, but open with a run they’d be looking for points from: Real Sociedad, Eibar and Huesca.
The stats (across my five teams, league games only)
Played 6 Won 1 Drawn 1 Lost 5
Goals for 6 Goals against 12
Average score – 1-2